Success sees Isabella Nolan power off to World Powerlifting Championships in Turkey

·4 min read

By Jaymie White

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

STEPHENVILLE CROSSING – Isabella Nolan, who was born and raised in Stephenville Crossing, has been powerlifting for the past two years, and soon she will be taking her talents halfway around the world, competing at the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Championships in Turkey. The passion for weightlifting runs in the Nolan family.

“My father, when he was younger, in his teenage years, he had lifted weights, and he used to tell me a lot of stories from past experiences he has had, and it grew to be something I was interested in. So, one day, it was March 14, 2020, me and my family went down and watched the Bay St. George Powerlifting Club compete in Stephenville, and after watching I realized it was something I wanted to try out.”

Unfortunately, with the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic taking place around the same time as Nolan's interest in powerlifting piqued, the powerlifting club, along with other organizations and businesses, were put on lockdown, so Nolan had to get her practicing done at home.

“We went down into my basement and we started out with me just learning the basics. I couldn’t even lift an 18-pound bar, and a few months later – July 14 of that summer – I decided I wanted to try competitive, so I joined the Powerlifting Club and ever since then I’ve fallen more in love with it every day.”

Since then, Nolan has reached new heights with her abilities.

“Right now I have a 100-pound bench, I have a 250-pound squat, and a 314-pound deadlift,” said Nolan.

In order to achieve these goals, Nolan trains hard regularly.

“For the last two years I’ve been going to the gym four days a week,” said Nolan. “Monday and Friday I would do squats and after finishing my squats I would do support work to work my leg and back muscles. On Tuesdays I would do bench and support work for those muscles. I would have a rest day on Wednesday, and on Thursday I would do bench and deadlifts and support muscles for each.”

Nolan said her coaches saw how much she was excelling in the sport, and that started her on the road to competing.

“I went to my first competition in September of 2021 and I came out with gold. I also had set four of the provincial records in squat, bench, deadlift, and total. So they said, ‘let's try to take it a bit further'. So I continued on and I qualified for Eastern Canadians where I also came out with gold and set a national record. Then I went to Nationals in May of this year and came out with silver.”

Nolan said the silver medal was actually because of a technicality.

“I had gotten gold but, during my last deadlift, which was the lift for gold, I had gotten the lift up, but after the lift what you’re supposed to do is lay it on the floor and I got so excited and threw it down, so I didn’t get the lift and I didn’t get gold, but I ended up putting in my name for Worlds. I had to wait a little bit longer than anyone else would who had an automatic spot, and then I found out a few weeks later that I was accepted and I was on Team Canada.”

Nolan still holds four provincial records and one national record and as of Sunday, Aug. 28, Nolan was officially on the flight to Istanbul, Turkey to compete at the Worlds.

“I’ll compete on September 1 in the 63 kg sub-junior class, and I will be doing my absolute best and putting my all into it.”

Nolan can’t say enough about the support that she has received.

“It’s been phenomenal. I’ve had endless support since everybody found out. There’s been people coming to my door with donations on top of donations, people helping out with fundraising events. It’s been awesome. It’s been crazy how many people have come with open arms wanting to help out.”

On Sunday evening, Aug. 21, the Town of Stephenville Crossing held a pep rally to celebrate Nolan's achievement and wish her success a the World competition.

“It was awesome, the amount of people that came was crazy. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all the people.”

Nolan said there is one thing that someone beginning powerlifting should always remember.

“My tips and advice would be to never give up. Keep going even if you don’t want to. You’re not always going to have the motivation to go, you’re not going to have the willpower, but it’s the discipline that gets you to where you are.”

Nolan shows no signs of slowing down.

“I plan on continuing until I can’t anymore.”

Jaymie White, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wreckhouse Weekly News